Atlanta Constitution – December 26, 1887
Atlanta – “Greek George” is here. Last night he made an hour’s visit to the editorial rooms of the Constitution. He is unquestionably a man of remarkable physical development. He is in his 36th year — just in his prime. He stands five feet eight and one-half inches in his stockings. His weight is 185 pounds, when in good condition. He is broad-shouldered, and compactly built. At present there is not a pound of surplus flesh on his bones. His neck is reamed with muscles and is abnormally developed. His arms and legs are like those of a giant. He is one of the strongest athletes in the profession. He has lifted 200 pounds with one finger. A few years ago he tested his strength and raised over 900 pounds with comparative ease. His activity is commensurate with his strength. He is as agile as a cat and as strong as a lion.
Seven years ago his professional career as a wrestler began. Since then he has vanquished every person he has encountered. He has wrestled with nearly 500 men, and has never suffered defeat. All the famous wrestlers of the United States have tested his powers to their own discomfiture. The first noted wrestler he met was Arrie Pinnell, of New Orleans, the champion heavyweight lifter of the world. Over this famous athlete he achieved a decisive victory. The next man he met was the noted Tom Cannon, of Chicago, whom he easily downed. Jones Genton was the next professional wrestler to encounter him on the carpet. The match took place in Chicago, and the Greek scored a brilliant victory. The celebrated “Jap,” hitherto unconquered, was decisively vanquished by “Greek George,” who threw him three times in three minutes and a half.
James McClellan, of Chicago, one of the most powerful, all-around athletes in America, was heavily backed by his friends, who felt confident he could throw any man in the world. He met with a signal defeat at the hands of the invincible Greek. The next man he defeated was Sam Mathews, of San Francisco, who was reputed to be an extraordinary wrestler. The Californian met the same fate as his predecessors. Perhaps the most famous contest in which “Greek George” was never engaged was his bout with a monster black bear. This occurred in New Orleans and excited intense interest among the sporting men of the city. Large sums were wagered that the best would prove too much for the man. But the invincible Greek was equal to the task. He gave Bruin one of his fierce hugs and the beast hunted grass. The bear was thrown five times in quick succession. The contest lasted only twenty-five minutes.
Sixteen months ago “Greek George” had his first contest with John Muhler. It occurred in Denver, Colorado, in the presence of a vast crowd of spectators. It proved one of the fiercest and most stubborn combats since the days of the gladiatorial contests in the amphitheatre in Rome. The wrestling match lasted four hours and twenty minutes and ended in a draw. At the conclusion of the contest both combatants were badly used up men. It was the hardest contest in which either of them had ever been engaged. So wonderful was the exhibition that the delighted crowd of spectators made up a handsome amount of money and divided it between the two Greeks.
During the past few months “Greek George” has been giving successful exhibitions in many of the southern cities. He wears several costly medals which were given him by his admirers. He has found no wrestler who afforded him amusement. In Savannah, night before last, he had a bout with Colonel Welch, the champion broad-swordsman of the world. Welch is also one of the most athletic men in the south. He believed he could throw Greek George, and a challenge was sent and accepted. The contest proved so one-sided that it was devoid of interest. The Greek dashed his adversary to the floor with such force that Welch’s arm was broken.
Yesterday morning when the great wrestler reached Atlanta he was met by a crowd. He has scores of admirers and backers in Atlanta. In conversation with a reporter last night he said, “I am anxiously waiting for the match. I feel first-rate and am certain I will make a good stand. I have never suffered defeat and would not lose this match for thousands of dollars. I am going to do my very best. Never was I in such excellent condition. I am just right. I know my task is not an easy one. Muhler is one of the greatest wrestlers in the world. I have felt his hug and know what his iron grasp means. He is not only powerful, but scientific. Our last contest proved how evenly matched we are. I think I can do better now than when I tackled him in Denver. I know some points and will spring something on him that will astonish the spectators. I think I will win. I am pretty confident of it. Whoever wins this match will be the champion of the world. Either of us is a better man, I think, than Muldoon.”
Muhler met Greek George and talked over the details of the match. Both are full of animal spirits. They are jovial fellows and seem perfectly harmless. Their match will be a perfectly fair one. Both men have much at stake, and will exert their utmost powers to win. The probability is that the contest will be the greatest exhibition of scientific wrestling every seen in this country.
A delegation of Savannah citizens will come over tomorrow. Several persons have come all the way from New York City to see this match. In tomorrow’s Constitution will be published some additional details of the contest, and the rules and regulations which will govern it. There is so active a demand for tickets that most of the best seats will be reserved by tonight. Persons who desire to secure eligible places should lose no time in securing reserved seats.